Thursday, December 25, 2014

Week 14 Fantasy Recap: Coaching change doesn't help Orton

Week 14 saw some familiar faces on the leader board. However, one team was missing for the second week in row.

Week 14 Fantasy Recap: Coaching change doesn't help Orton

Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton found himself on our list of busts for the second week in a row. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton found himself on our list of busts for the second week in a row. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Week 14 saw some familiar faces on the leader board. However, one team was missing for the second week in row.

That's right, our team failed to make the leader board yet again. To make matters worse, we finished lower than last week. We do not find 21st place acceptable, and we hope we can improve for you.

Enough about us though. This week's winner, 'taximike' blew away the competition, winning by nearly 16 points.

He used the Michael Vick to DeSean Jackson connection to propel him into the lead, and never looked back. The 30.4 points he got out of Michael Turner certainly didn't hurt either.

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One of those familiar faces on the leader board was 'thebirdistheword', who finished in second place for the second consecutive week. Just like 'taximike', 'thebirdistheword' played Vick and Jackson, but Turner proved to be the difference.

Derrick Mason's big game lifted 'iltat' into third place, putting him/her in the money as well.

Last week's winner, 'thdarragh', finished in sixth to make a second straight appearance on our leader board.

So congratulations to 'taximike' for winning $100, 'thebirdistheword' for winning $35, and 'iltat' for winning $15 in our second week.

If you want to play next week for another chance to win cash, click here to fill out your roster.

Here is a look at the top 10, including a breakdown of our roster and the winning roster, which belongs to 'taximike':

The past two weeks, it was a running back. This week, it was a quarterback.

Our pick for bust has been nothing short of a bust the past couple weeks. First, we picked Turner to struggle against the Packers. That didn't happen. Then, we picked Maurice Jones-Drew to get stuffed by the Titans. He set a career high for single-game rushing yards.

Matt Schaub was our pick for quarterback bust, and he topped the position, thanks to a furious comeback against the Ravens. Guess this is destined to become a running theme.

Big plays were the basis upon which Darren McFadden and Jackson built their weeks. All three of McFadden's touchdowns came on long plays, and Jackson took a short pass 91 yards for his score.

If you had Jay Feely on your team, consider yourself a seer. He had more rushing touchdowns than Adrian Peterson, LeSean McCoy and Arian Foster.

Week 14 Top Performers

QB - Matt Schaub - 30.52 points - 393 passing yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs; 8 rushing yards

RB - Darren McFadden - 38.90 points - 123 rushing yards, 2 TDs; 86 receiving yards, 1 TD

RB - Michael Turner - 30.40 points - 112 rushing yards, 3 TDs; 12 receiving yards

WR - DeSean Jackson - 27.60 points - 210 receiving yards, 1 TD; 6 rushing yards

WR - Andre Johnson - 26 points - 140 receiving yards, 2 TDs

WR - Pierre Garcon - 21.3 points - 93 receiving yards, 2 TDs

TE - Jason Witten - 18.9 points - 69 receiving yards, 2 TDs

K - Jay Feely - 29 points - 1 rushing TD; 2 FGs 0-39 yds; 2 FGs 40-49 yds; 1 FG 50+ yds

DEF - Pittsburgh Steelers - 25 points - 7 PA; 3 sacks; 3 INTs; 2 TDs


Every week, we give you a look at a player who performed way above, or way below, his projected value. We consider it one of the highest honors in sports, unless you find yourself on our bust list.

Considering his play lately, we are contemplating rebranding the busts as 'Ortons'. We're going to give him another chance this week, but be warned, Kyle Orton, we have our eye on you.

Here are our bargains and busts for Week 14:

Week 14 Bargains

P - Cliff Lee (PHI)

I think all of us in Philadelphia are in agreement that this is the best bargain of the week.

QB - Alex Smith (SF) - 29.4 points - 255 passing yds, 3 TDs; 12 rushing yds

Smith showed Mike Singletary a little something in shredding the Seahawks’ defense, finishing only behind Schaub and Vick for the week’s lead at the QB position. Smith has played well in his last four starts, throwing nine touchdowns and only two interceptions. Granted, three of those starts were before he got injured in Week 7 against the Panthers, but Smith has been sharp, nonetheless. For that, he is our bargain quarterback of this week.

RB - Tim Hightower (ARI) - 26.8 points - 148 rushing yds, 2 TDs

Hightower did his best McFadden impression, running through the Broncos' defense for 148 yards and two touchdowns. McFadden comes in a close second, but Hightower's cheaper price tag gives him the nod. A good performance from the third-year back out of Richmond is just what the Cardinals needed, considering that their quarterback situation is, simply put, a mess.

WR - Derrick Mason (BAL) - 19.8 points - 78 receiving yds, 2 TDs

Mason played the role of Santonio Holmes this week in our league, shaking up the standings on Monday Night Football and knocking one person out of the money, while nearly displacing a second. Mason notched 78 yards and two touchdowns, earning him a spot on our list as a bargain at the wide receiver position.

TE - Owen Daniels (HOU) - 9.1 points - 91 receiving yds

Daniels didn't get into the end zone on Monday night, but that didn't stop him from having a productive game. Daniels had five receptions for 91 yards in his first game back since getting injured in Week 8 against the Colts. Joel Dreessen filled in well for Daniels, but after a big performance on Monday night, I think it is safe to say that he is back.

K - Jay Feely (ARI) - 29 points - 1 rushing TD; 2 FGs 0-39 yds; 2 FGs 40-49 yds; 1 FG 50+ yds

Feeley dominated the kicking position this week, scoring 12.5 more points than the next closest kicker, Jeff Reed, and scoring the third-highest points overall, behind only McFadden and Turner. No matter what the price, that is some serious value at the kicker position.

D - Arizona - 23 points - 13 PA; 1 sack; 3 INTs; 3 FR; 1 TD

This award belongs to Kyle Orton and the Broncos' offense as much as it does the Cardinals' defense. Six turnovers (three interceptions, three fumbles) led to a usually suspect Cardinals defense ranking fifth.

Week 14 Busts

QB - Kyle Orton (DEN) - 1.14 points - 166 passing yds, 3 INTs; 5 rushing yds

Originally, we wanted to give this spot to Aaron Rodgers. Then we watched Orton. Rodgers' afternoon was cut short due a concussion he suffered early in the Packers' game against the Lions, which is really out of his hands. However, it was exactly Orton's hand, or arm rather, that led to his shortened appearance. So much for getting a boost from firing your coach. A week after firing Josh McDaniels, Orton and the Broncos went out and lost for the eighth time in the last nine weeks, this one to the struggling Cardinals. Orton, though, didn't let the coaching change affect him, as he finds himself as a bust for the second straight week.

RB - Adrian Peterson (MIN) - 2.6 points - 26 rushing yds

A week after shredding the Bills for three touchdowns, Peterson was held to just 26 yards on 14 carries by a much better Giants defense. His performance can't be blamed on his comfort with Tarvaris Jackson, who started at quarterback for the injured Brett Favre. Jackson played most of the game last week against the Bills after Favre went down, so we'll give this one to the G-Men for a solid defensive performance in shutting down one of the league's most elusive backs.

WR - Dwayne Bowe (KC) - 0.3 points - 3 receiving yds

Told ya! Bowe improved on his Week 13 “performance” by a measly 0.3 points, hauling in just one catch for three yards. It’s hard to really blame Bowe, as Brodie Croyle really is that awful. You have no one to blame but yourself if you paid top-dollar for D-Bowe, though.

TE - Antonio Gates (SD) - 0 points - DNP

Gates continues to be the most expensive tight end, but he has really cooled off since getting out to such a great start. Gates was a last-minute scratch for Sunday's game against the Chiefs, and for those of you who broke the bank to retain his services, you probably regretted the move once he was announced as inactive. The picks lock at 1 p.m. Unfortunately, Gates wasn't scratched until much later.

K - Dan Carpenter (MIA) - 5 points - 1 FG 40-49; 1 PAT

What more can we say about Carpenter? He continues to be one of the most expensive kickers available. However, he plays for a team that can't put him in positions to score. Stay away from Carpenter unless his price really drops.

D - Chicago - -1 points - 36 PA, 3 sacks, no turnovers

It could’ve been expected that Jay Cutler would fold in the snow, wind and cold. But the big, bad Bears defense? They never knew what hit them, as Tom Brady continued embarrassing NFL defenses in routing Brian Urlacher’s crew. Just like he did to the Jets last week, Brady lands another top defense in our list of weekly busts.

Don't forget to sign up before next weekend for your chance to win $100. Just click HERE.

As always, we will be back later in the week for our preview of Week 15.


Matt Mullin is a sports producer at philly.com and can be reached at mmullin@philly.com. Follow him on Twitter: @matt_mullin.

Andrew O'Brien works on the sports desk at philly.com and can be reached at aobrien@philly.com.

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